Friday, February 28, 2014

Just leave me the hell alone!

My pickup truck registration was due this month, something else that rankles the living hell out of me.

I paid sales tax on the truck when I bought it. I pay (outrageous) taxes on the gasoline she gulps. I pay sales tax on the synthetic oil and top-shelf oil filter I replace every four-thousand miles religiously. I pay sales tax on the parts I purchase at NAPA or Autozone or O'Reilly's and install and/or replace. I paid taxes on the tools I use to maintain our vehicles.

But none of that is good enough for the damned government. I have to register the truck as well.

Fine, give me a registration application. I'll fill it out and mail it back to you or zap it to you via Al Gore's internet.

Oh no you don't. Not so fast there, Tex.

You gotta pony up some cash for that registration.

In looking at the list of taxes just to register my pickup (as well as my wife's Avalon and my Z-car), there are about seven additional taxes listed and all in all, the total came out to around $65 dollars. There was an extra dollar charge if you mailed it in, and get this--an extra TWO DOLLAR charge if you sent it in via the internet.


The money is zapped right into the Texas Treasury. No wages had to be paid for typical state employees sitting on their dead asses pretending to be busy. No office space had to be rented. It's the internet.

And for eliminating all that additional labor and office equipment and real estate, it cost two bucks more.

Mind you, I'm not really fussing about paying $67 for registering my truck. I remember a few years back in North Carolina, specifically Nash County, it cost $400 and change to register my truck. Cost more than that to register the wife's car. I told the First In Flight state to kiss my Texas ass and kept the Z-car registered with my address in Texas. We then proceeded to begin looking for ways to get the hell out of North Carolina as fast as we could.

You pay an inordinate amount of money for a motor vehicle, then the exorbitant sales tax on top of it, then the registration fees. . . and that should be it, by God. But no. Always a (expletive deleted) tax or permit or fee on damn near everything you own.

We recently replaced the fence on the west side of our yard. We live in a suburb in the northern hinterlands of the Dallas/Fort Worth metro-madness. Our house is located on a large corner lot on a cul-de-sac. The fence line we replaced was around 115 linear feet. Just as we did with the other two sides of the property, we used concrete posts, 2x4s as rails instead of those wimpy little 1.5 x 1.5 rails that rot after a few years and cause your pickets to fall out. We used the wide cedar pickets. Two-thirds of the fence line was with six-foot pickets. The remaining portion used eight-foot pickets as we have an elevated deck coming out of our downstairs master bedroom and kitchen. The taller pickets affords us better privacy.

Imagine my surprise when some geek from the city shows up and informs me that I'm in violation for NOT getting a permit to replace my own (expletive deleted) fence. Imagine what I called him and suggested he do with his permit.

A fence is required around here, but a permit is required in order to build a structure that the pissants down in City Hall require. Makes no sense. But it gets better.

The pissants at City Hall tack on an additional $100 on top of the $57 permit as a "fine" for not getting a permit to replace a structure required by code but for which a permit is required in order to build the structure so that you will be in compliance with code.

And it gets better yet.

It seems we may have an even larger fine because some fifteen-plus years ago, in the dead of night, the little nutsacks known as Planning & Zoning decided that all new fences on corner/cul-de-sac lots had to be a minimum of fifteen feet away from the sidewalk, or there would be a fine involved.

I measured where our house sits relative to the sidewalk on the west side, where the fence was replaced, and our house sits around thirteen feet from the sidewalk. That means to be in compliance, we'd have to give up a fifth or more of our backyard, PLUS have the fence start next to the house in the middle of our master bedroom picture window in order to be "fifteen feet from the sidewalk."

We explain this to the pissants at City Hall and it fell on deaf and dumb (literally) ears. "When do you want to pay the fine?" was all the women at the desk kept asking.

"I am not paying a damn fine for replacing a structure that had I not replaced it, I would have been fined for not having replaced," was my response.

"We'll send someone to collect the fine from you," was the dude in charge's response.

"Tell him to bring a (expletive deleted) lunch," was my response.

Sunday is Texas Independence Day. Sure as hell don't feel like Independence around here or anywhere else in Amerika any longer, what with all the damned taxes, fees, permission requests, ordinances, zoning, permits and fines for non-compliance of rules you don't even know exist.

In Florida, a woman somewhere near Coral Gables, I think, wanted to live off the grid. The (expletive deleted) city told her she couldn't!


Note to government--just leave me the hell alone.


Old NFO said...

Yep, and ALL those taxes are only going to go up... I did a property swap a few years ago with a neighbor and it cost us over $1400!!! Almost $700 was fees and taxes!!!

Grog said...

Here's the story about the woman in florida.

Murphy's Law said...

Come here and you can pay a "personal property tax" for every vehicle that you own. It's due anew every year, based on the value of your vehicles, and you can't get registered without making the extra trip to the assessor's office for a receipt showing that you've paid it in full.

Candes Saint Martin said...

Lovely bllog you have here